Welsh boxing wizard Andrew Selby battles young Nicaraguan fighter Cristofer ‘El Latigo’ Rosales at the motorpoint arena in Cardiff Wales on 26th May. It is a critical fight in the career of the Welsh fighter as he looks to climb the final few steps towards a shot at the WBC world flyweight title.
Boxing is a family trade for the Selby’s. The welshman is younger brother to Lee Selby the current IBF champion up at featherweight. Within boxing circles Andrew Selby has the respect of the very best. However, a lot more people should be talking about Selby and in time he will get his chance to prove it in the ring as a professional. As a standout amateur he won a silver medal at the world championships in 2011 also claimed the European gold twice.
The 28 year old is approaching his prime years now and for anyone who does not know he is an exciting, dynamic fighter who has every shot in the book at his disposal. He’s a fluid mover with dazzling hand speed who can slink and jink his way into position to let rip combination punches sometimes running into 7 and and 8 shots. He contemptuously maneuvers his opponents about the ring and has won all of his 8 professional fights with consummate ease.
The only criticism that has been leveled at him despite the fact he has knocked out 5 of this 8 opponents is that he is lacking some power. However I believe critically he has enough of it to mix in the top echelons of the sport. He will no doubt improve over the coming years and learn to sit down on his shots.
This fight is a WBC flyweight semi-final eliminator. In other words he is two fights away from a world title shot. Should he win he will earn a final eliminator and should he come through that he would be in line for a shot at the WBC champion.
The current WBA flyweight champion is unbeaten Japanese fighter Daigo Higa. He is 13W-0L and has knocked out all 13 of his opponents. He is a pressure fighter who walks forward and throws heavy shots so Selby will be up against it, especially if he has to travel to Japan to seize the title. However he is certainly capable of doing just that.
However, focusing on the task at hand on May 26th, he must first beat Nicaraguan contender Cristofer Rosales who is no mug. Rosales has only been beaten twice a a pro in 25 fights and one of the two losses came against Britain’s talented super-flyweight world champion Khalid Yafai with whom he stayed the distance and lost on points to. Other than that one visit to Sheffield Rosales has boxed exclusively out of his home country of Nicaragua.
This is a step up on paper for Selby but with so much at stake I am predicting another classy display from him. I believe he will have too much variation in his work and will break his opponent down over the rounds with his body work. Rosales is a tall rangy fighter that definitely carries threats of his own- a long jab and long left hook in particular.